Heroin death of a Sidmouth 'thrill seeker'

A FATHER of two, who was found dead in a camper van in Sidbury, died after a heroin overdose, an inquest has ruled. Timothy Goss, 40, of Lymebourne Park in Sidmouth, was pronounced dead at RD&E Hospital in the early hours of Sunday, May 27, 2007. An inque

A FATHER of two, who was found dead in a camper van in Sidbury, died after a heroin overdose, an inquest has ruled.

Timothy Goss, 40, of Lymebourne Park in Sidmouth, was pronounced dead at RD&E Hospital in the early hours of Sunday, May 27, 2007.

An inquest, held at County Hall on Tuesday, heard that Mr Goss' death occurred during a party at his friends' house in Hillside, Sidbury.

Medical evidence confirmed as well as heroin, Mr Goss had ingested cocaine and consumed alcohol and Stuart Tinkler, giving evidence, said he saw Mr Goss snort cocaine and he had a 'tooting' pipe.

Mr Tinkler said he and his heroin addict friend, Stephen Salthill, who is now dead, went to Mr Salthill's camper van so he could inject himself with heroin but, as he only had two hits, he decided to save it until the morning.

Ex-heroin addict Mr Tinkler, who has not used the drug since 2005, said later in the evening he saw Mr Goss and Mr Salthill go to the camper van, parked nearby.

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He said: "This indicated Steve and Tim left the house obviously to go to Steve's campervan to use heroin."

Mr Tinkler, who had alcohol and cocaine at the party, said heroin was "less acceptable" to the partygoers and if the pair were going to use cocaine they would have done it "at the table".

But several people said they did not see any drug-taking at the party and the hosts, Andrew and Jennie Lowe, would not condone this behaviour.

The inquest heard later in the evening Mr Tinkler, who was in the Lowe's conservatory, was asked by a "flustered" Mr Salthill to go to the campervan where they found Mr Goss dead.

Several people giving evidence said Mr Goss had never taken heroin before but his friend Hakim Bakrim, said he thought Mr Goss would "experiment" with heroin because he was an "adventurous thrill-seeker".

Mrs Goss's wife, Pauline, told the inquest she was "surprised" her husband took heroin and several people giving evidence said he had a fear of needles.

Mrs Lowe told the coroner after the emergency services were called she heard Mr Salthill say 'I'm going to get done for murder'.

Evidence given by police, who interviewed Mr Salthill, said he went to the campervan with Mr Goss where he then injected himself with heroin.

He told police he was "out cold" and on waking found Mr Goss had also injected.

The coroner heard that an injection mark was found on Mr Goss' arm and bruising consistent with finger marks.

Expert evidence confirmed bruising does not happen after death and Mr Tinkler said it would be impossible to grip your arm while trying to inject heroin at the same time.

Dr Elizabeth Earland, Exeter and Great Devon coroner, recorded a verdict of non-dependent abuse of drugs.

She said she believed Mr Goss was a regular cocaine user and at the party he "injected a quantity of heroin with assistance"

Dr Earland added: "I have insufficient evidence to find an unlawful killing verdict but I am satisfied he was a large man and not a regular user of heroin and he would have needed assistance in injecting the heroin which subsequently killed him.

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